Photo By: Dougherty
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Bill Davis Racing Event Preview
Miami Truck Race Review - Johnny Wins!
Johnny Benson joined the rest of the
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitors at
Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend to wrap up the
2007 NCTS season. It was one last chance for Benson to
move up in the Championship standings.
Benson and his team got started early Friday in what was
a long one-day show. The team made many different
adjustments to the Exide Batteries Tundra during
practice, in an effort to get the truck ready for that
night’s race. As the final practice session came to an
end, Benson topped the speed charts, and the No. 23 team
was ready for qualifying.
Benson was the third-to-last driver to make his
qualifying attempt Friday afternoon, and he hit the
track running as the sun went down behind the
grandstands. He put down an incredible lap of 31.237
seconds to take over the top spot. Benson and crew
thought he was going to capture his first pole of the
year until the last truck to qualify bumped Benson to
the second starting position. The four Bill Davis Racing
trucks occupied the second, third, fourth and fifth
starting positions for the race.
After the green flag waved to start the
season finale, Benson maintained his position well but
let his crew know that the handling of his truck was
tight in the center of the turns. He continued to drive
hard while fighting the handling problem and took the
lead on lap 25. He maintained the lead for the next 30
laps despite still doing battle with his truck. He
relinquished the top spot only to pit under green flag
Benson had to fight his way through the field after the
four-tire stop, as many drivers did not pit. After the
caution flag waved on lap 77, Benson again pitted for
four tires and fuel. He restarted seventh on lap 80.
Benson picked off positions one by one
and found himself in the top four by lap 100 of the
138-lap event. He reported to his crew that his Exide
Tundra was now tight, and it sounded as if the motor was
lying down. Despite this, Benson managed to take the
Benson drove hard into the corners in an attempt to gain
ground on the leader. He was relieved to see the caution
flag wave on lap 132, as this would enable him to fight
for the win during a green-white-checkered finish.
Benson passed the leader with one lap to go and captured
his fourth victory of the season. Benson also finished
third the 2007 NCTS Championship standings.
Miami Cup Race Review
After scoring his fourth win of the season in the NASCAR
Craftsman Truck Series event Friday night, Johnny Benson
was hoping for more success in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
Series race Sunday. Unfortunately, an issue with the
engine ended the night early for the Bill Davis Racing
team, which was credited with a 43rd-place finish in the
Sitting outside the top 35 in the NEXTEL Cup Series
owners’ point standings, Benson and the 360 OTC Racing
team were forced to make the field for Sunday’s event
based on speed. Benson was the 42nd of 49 competitors to
take to the track for his qualifying run Friday
afternoon. His speed of 174.560 mph around the 1.5-mile
oval earned the team the 20th spot on the starting
lineup for Sunday’s event. Prior to qualifying, the team
changed the engine in the No. 36 machine, so though the
team earned itself a top 20 qualifying effort, Benson
would be forced to start at the back of the pack for
Benson lined up at the tail end of the field for the
start of the Ford 400 and had worked his way into 31st
spot by the time he made his way down pit road for the
first pit stop of the day on lap 50. The team changed
all four tires, filled the tank with fuel and made a
track bar adjustment in an effort to loosen the handling
of the car a bit. Unfortunately, just after Benson made
his stop, the first caution flag of the day waved, which
left the team two laps down to the leader, who had not
yet stopped. Benson lined up for the lap 58 restart in
Benson picked up several spots during the next 12 laps
but reported to the crew that the motor felt like it was
losing power. Several laps later, Benson was forced to
drive his Toyota Camry into the garage area with
terminal engine problems. Benson was credited with a
43rd-place finish when the checkered flag waved.
Miami Nextel Cup Review
The No. 36 Toyota Johnny Benson is scheduled to drive
in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is chassis
No. 107. This car has been utilized many times during
the second half of the 2007 season and was most
recently run at Texas Motor Speedway with Mike Skinner
behind the wheel.
Slugger Takes Over…
Slugger Labbe will once again take over the reigns of
crew chief for the No. 36 team this weekend in
Homestead. Slugger worked with Mike Skinner in this
car for several weeks before turning his attention
last week to the No. 27 Bill Davis Racing entry.
Stats… Benson hopes to make his 274th career NASCAR
NEXTEL Cup Series start when the green flag waves
Sunday afternoon. He made his first career Cup Series
start in February 1996 at Daytona (Fla.) International
Speedway and finished 35th (qualified 39th) in his
first Cup Series start in Homestead in 1999. Benson
qualified in the 30th spot and finished 36th in his
BDR entry in the Cup Series race last weekend at
Phoenix International Raceway.
Benson at HMS… Benson
has made five starts on the 1.5-mile track during his
Cup Series career, starting as high as 14th (2000).
He has earned one top-five finish in Cup Series
competition at the track. He has also competed in
three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events there and
has scored one top-five and one top-10 finish. In
five Busch Series starts, Benson has two top-10
efforts at the Miami-area track.
BDR at HMS…
Competitors driving Bill Davis Racing-owned cars have
been racing at the track since 1999 and have made 14
starts. Those drivers have posted two top-10
Listen and Watch…
Qualifying for the Ford 400 is scheduled for Friday,
Nov. 16. The 267-lap event is scheduled to start at
3:45 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 18, and will broadcast LIVE
on ABC (TV), MRN (radio) and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Ford 200 – Nov. 16, 2007
Homestead-Miami Speedway – Miami, Fla.
This week’s race truck for
Homestead-Miami Speedway is Chassis No. 23-60.
Johnny Benson has driven this truck in numerous races
this season, including at The Milwaukee Mile, where he
won back-to-back races in June.
What a Year… Bill Davis
Racing has had an incredible 2007 season in the NCTS.
The BDR truck teams have captured 12 poles, eight
wins, 29 top-five finishes and 41 top-10 finishes this
Welcome Back… Exide
Batteries will serve as primary sponsor of the No. 23
Bill Davis Racing Tundra team in the season finale.
This will be the fourth time this season in which
Exide Batteries has performed primary sponsor duties.
100th start… Homestead will
mark the 100th NCTS start for the Toyota Tundra, which
debuted in the series in 2004. Benson will also make
his 100th career NCTS start this weekend at Homestead.
Double Duty… For the second
consecutive week, Benson will attempt to qualify for
the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race and drive in the
Craftsman Truck Series race Friday night. Benson will
drive the No. 36 Toyota Camry in the NEXTEL Cup
On a Roll… Benson and his
No. 23 team have had two wins, five top-five finishes
and eight top-10 finishes in the last nine races.
Point Standings… Benson has
quickly climbed the NCTS Championship standings. He
now stands in the fifth position.
Fourth Truck… BDR’s NEXTEL
Cup Series wheel man Dave Blaney will attempt to
qualify the No. 22 Tundra for Friday night’s Ford
Listen and watch… The Ford
200 is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday, Nov.
16. It will broadcast on the Speed Channel (TV), MRN
(radio) and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 128).
Johnny Benson on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
“I am really looking forward to running at Homestead
this weekend. I like running here because you can run
side-by-side every lap. It is a great track, and the
energy level is just awesome from the fans. We have had
a good truck all year, but just didn’t seem to have any
luck when it came to engine parts and so forth. Trip
[Bruce, crew chief] and the guys are excited about
wrapping up the 2007 season and getting things ready to
run for the championship next year.”
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